I took a blogging hiatus without meaning to. That's what happens when the flu (or cold or whatever the heck I'm recovering from) knocks me off my feet. Instead of fighting it, I've been very chummy with my bed for the past few days. Luckily, hubby took over kid duty while I was sick. Without complaining I might add. Though I'm sure he could have used some scotch at the end of most nights, if he wasn't so tired.
Even though I was sick in bed for most of the weekend, the kids still wanted their mom. It was especially hard for Jaxson. He still wakes up at least one or two times at night and only wants me. Saturday, he finally fell asleep after his third wake up of the night. I lay next to him and watched him sleep. Every child looks angelic when they're sleeping and he's no exception.
Usually I revel in how big he's grown or how his eyes look the same as they did during his ultrasound. Saturday night, I had different thoughts. Even after our Swirl Chat on Friday about teaching our mixed raced child to self-identify as both their cultures, I couldn't help but think about Trayvon Martin. I looked at my beautiful boy and thought, to some people, he'll always be a black boy.
It struck me that in addition to teaching him to be good, kind, loving boy and teaching him to love his Asian genes as much as his black genes, I also have to teach him that he'll be profiled by the color of his skin. That as a black boy and a black man, he has to think carefully about what he does and how he reacts around those who judge him. It hurt me to think this. It made my heart ache to know that teaching him these things are a necessary part of living in the United States. But goddammit, he's only 2 years old. I shouldn't have to think about these things when he's only two.
I've read a lot of articles about Trayvon Martin's murder. NPR's piece by Corey Dade reminding us of "The Talk" black mothers teach their sons stuck with me. Reading it made me recall all the times hubby was pulled over the cops for driving 5 miles over the speed limit when we lived in Syracuse. Or about the time a cop followed him for a mile before pulling him over, then claiming that he ran a red light. That happened only 6 years ago, in our "diverse" Maryland town. Since then hubby has been extra cautious on the road at night. What would we tell our kids if he was pulled over for some silly reason?
I'm actually glad that I'm having this revelation now and not 5 years down the road. As much as I hope and wish that our 21st century we're-so-cool-we-have-a-black-president vibe feels modern and revolutionary, I have to remember that there are people who don't want a black president. I need to be mentally prepared for when some kid at school calls my son a nigger (yes, it happens in big cities). I told hubby this morning about what happened to my friend's son. He was very angry and rightly so. He's been called the n-word many times in his life. Now he have to worry that some kid who might not even know the meaning of the word will call our son that.
When people talk of race, there's a lot of talk about white privilege. Maybe there's Asian privilege too. Yes, I was picked on a lot in school for being Asian, but I don't get pulled over for being Asian (well there was that one time in a small upstate NY town).
I don't mean to sound pessimistic. Maybe I've been in a bubble lately about the realities of race and raising a son. Silly me, I didn't think I had more to worry about than making sure he says please and thank you. It just sucks that a boy had to die for me be reminded.